California Hit by Rain, Snow, Tornado on Election Day

California Hit by Rain, Snow, Tornado on Election Day
Traffic moves slowly through the snowy conditions along Interstate 80 near Truckee, Calif., on Nov. 8, 2022, in this image taken from video from a Caltrans remote video traffic camera. (Caltrans via AP)

LOS ANGELES—A powerful storm pounded California with rain and snow Tuesday, leaving one person dead and two others missing after they were swept away by floodwaters in a canal, while a tornado touched down in Sacramento County.

The National Weather Service said the tornado touched down at 1:40 p.m. a few miles outside the town of Galt. NBC affiliate KCRA in Sacramento reported that a tin roof on a barn was blown off and took down utility lines. No other damage was reported.

In Southern California a current in a canal in the city of Ontario, swept six people away, killing one, the Ontario Fire Department said. Three others were rescued by firefighters and were being treated at a nearby hospital. Crews continued searching for two others amid the downpour.

Heavy rain drenched Orange County, where several very close U.S. House races could determine which party controls Congress. The Republican Party of Orange County urged members to vote early and avoid getting stuck in the rain on Election Day.

“Election day lines are long and typically one to two hours long. Don’t risk getting caught waiting in the rain to cast your ballot,” an email sent by the party Monday said.

The storm, which arrived Monday and was forecast to continue through Wednesday, prompted evacuation orders in parts of Southern California, including in the Santa Ana Mountains’ Bond Fire burn scar area.

In Northern California, meteorologists warned the heavy rainfall could lead to debris flows and flash flooding in the burn scars of the Colorado and River wildfires.

Between 1 and 3 inches of rainfall are expected through Wednesday in the Los Angeles area’s coast and valleys. The foothills and mountains could see up to 5 inches.

Meanwhile, in the mountains, peaks above 6,000 feet elevation could get 6 to 12 inches of snowfall, with 20 inches possible locally.

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